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Cleanliness is vital for health and well-being. For people with incontinence, keeping clean is more challenging. When urine or feces stays in contact with the skin for too long, it can lead to redness, irritation and rashes. Fortunately, products are available to gently cleanse and soothe skin areas exposed to urine and feces. This can help to maintain healthy skin and reduce the risk of uncomfortable irritation.
When skin is exposed to urine or feces, a host of problems can occur. It increases the risk of skin rashes, infection and chronic itching. Urine and feces acts as a skin irritant. Close contact with feces or urine for long periods of time may cause the skin exposed to it to become inflamed. In people who spend lots of time in bed or in a chair, it increases the risk of bed sores and pressure ulcers. Contact with urine and feces also destroy the skin's ability to act as a barrier against the environment. This makes it easier for germs to enter and moisture to be lost. Regular cleansing with a gentle cleanser helps to remove irritants, while moisturizing calms irritation and promotes healing.
Cleansing products used in the delicate vulvar and anal area need to be gentle and non-irritating. A variety of cleansing foams, sprays and washes are available. These products gently remove urine, feces and bacteria that come into contact with skin. Many are self-foaming and don't require water to do their job. They also don't need to be rinsed off. This makes them ideal for people confined to bed and those who have difficulty bathing. Some of these no rinse cleansers contain anti-bacterial ingredients that help to kill bacteria that cause infection as they cleanse.
Moisturizing is the next step after cleansing. Moisturizing helps to rebuild the moisture barrier lost by exposure to urine and feces. What are the options? Moisturizers are available that create an invisible barrier over the skin to protect it from irritation. These moisturizers help to hold in water and prevent dryness and flaking.
What about skin that's already red and irritated? Creams containing zinc oxide help to promote healing. Zinc oxide is commonly used to treat diaper rash and pressure sores due to its wound healing benefits.
One problem with incontinence is the odor. Incontinence odor sprays help to neutralize bad odors. They work well for body odors and to offset the smell of urine or feces. These versatile sprays can also be used to neutralize odors on bedding fabrics and clothing.
Urine and feces are irritating to the delicate skin in the vulvar and anal area. Frequent exposure increases the risk for rashes and bed sores that are painful and difficult to heal. Regular cleansing and moisturizing reduces this risk. Fortunately, there are a variety of products made to cleanse and protect skin exposed to urine and feces. If rashes or sores do develop, get medical attention as soon as possible.